Sauber Facing Financial Turmoil

Sauber are a team in turmoil at the moment. Despite Nico Hulkenberg’s P10 in Germany, the team have reached the halfway point of their 2013 campaign with just seven points – stark contrast to their exceptional 2012 season. However, performance issues are not the only concern of Team Principal Monisa Kaltenborn, as financial turmoil threatens to curtail their Formula One existence. Investors are dearly needed, but Kaltenborn is confident that the team will find a solution soon.
These issues have been rumour for several weeks now, however, speculation reached fever-pitch during this weekend’s German Grand Prix, after it was suggested that Nico Hulkenberg has not been paid. Regardless of whether this is true, Sauber certainly have a predicament which requires immediate attention.
“We have very openly said we are going through a difficult time but we are confident we will be out of it soon,” Kaltenborn told ESPN. “That’s it, there is nothing more to say. Clearly when you have limited resources you cannot develop as much as you want to and that’s it.”
Rumour’s from within the team suggest that Russian electricity giants GAZPROM are possible investors who are currently showing interest in Sauber. The company have previously been involved in sport, most notably, as the official sponsors of last season’s UEFA Champions League. Supposedly, this deal could be struck by the end of this month, meaning that preparations for 2014 should not be overshadowed by financial uncertainty. Kaltenborn recognised this, stating; “It’s never ideal to have financial difficulties, but I don’t think we are jeopardizing next season.”
Sauber are not the only team who have announced financial concerns recently. Marussia and Williams have both been seeking investment, while Lotus have reportedly struggled to pay Kimi Raikkonen’s exorbitant wages. The additional expenses of the new engine regulations for 2014 are a contributing factor to these financial woes and Monisa identified that the lower budget teams require support from the FIA and FOM. “We all endorsed these changes and what we should really do is not wait until it is too late for some teams,” she said. “In many situations we always wait for something to happen and then react, but in this case there are so many teams struggling that I think we should really do something about it before anything happens. We shouldn’t always wait for the big bang.”  


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